A Life in Education Impact
2019 - Patricia Tagliaferri Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, Pepperdine School of Public Policy welcomed Betsy DeVos, the 11th US Secretary of Education, to deliver the 2019 Patricia Tagliaferri Dean's Distinguished Lecture on "A Life in Education Impact."
DeVos was confirmed by the US Senate on February 7, 2017, after being nominated by President Donald J. Trump. She has been involved in education policy for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. She is especially passionate about reforms that help underserved children gain access to a quality education.
DeVos' interest in education was sparked at an early age by her mother, a public school teacher. It grew when she sent her own children to school and was confronted with the reality that not every child in America is granted an equal opportunity to receive a great education. DeVos saw firsthand the work leaders in her hometown were doing to increase educational opportunities for students and choices for parents, and she has been involved in the fight to provide better educational options across the nation ever since.
For 15 years, DeVos served as an in-school mentor for at-risk children in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, public schools. Her interactions with students, families, and teachers, according to DeVos, "changed my life and my perspective about education forever." A leader in the movement to empower parents, DeVos has worked to support the creation of new educational choices for students in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
As secretary, DeVos works with President Trump to advance equal opportunities for quality education for all students. DeVos firmly believes that neither the zip code in which a child lives nor a child's household income should be the principal determinant of his or her opportunity to receive a world-class education. She advocates for returning control of education to states and localities, giving parents greater power to choose the educational settings that are best for their children and ensuring that higher education puts students on the path to successful careers.